"Odds & Ends" contains a large majority of the bits and pieces written on the Crusaders and their Demarchy over the millennium. To begin with, Background contains many notes on the other writings in this book, Phaseblades is a study of the Crusaders weapon of choice and Crusader Classes describes the general categories rank and fill Crusaders fit into. Even more odds and ends, from multiple realities, lie below The Guardians of Zion
The most well developed Horizon, in terms of writing, would be the “Delta” reality. Something of a mascot dimension, The Crusaders are at their most prolific here and the Watchmaker (Among other, older, alternate versions of these Crusaders) has compiled a brief examination of the greatest heroes native to this reality. Although the later Crusaders are not as well cataloged, their Adventures are no less important. Shining beacons of light, their stories are as follows.
Although they are certainly the most well known, the Crusaders are far from the only people to determine the fate of the Delta Horizon. From Villains to heroes, from monsters to angels, countless beings decided the outcome of their Universe through mere choice. However, certain individuals have personally affected time and space itself. There stories are written here by the Crusaders themselves, in memory of friends and foes alike.
People, as with any world, are the single biggest driving force behind change in the Delta Horizon. However, although examining these characters is the main purpose of this book, there is at least a little more to discuss. Decades after Horizons: Nexus, the historian Jaster Sa compiled as much information on the adventures of the Lyra Capella Crusades as he could. This information (MOST of which is accurate, although Dr. Jaster did not have access to a lot of information) is presented here.
1. Original Phaseblades
The first Phaseblades were created by the war era Guardians for use against Hon-Ton's forces. Encased in a twenty inch hilt, Phaseblades consisted of a recharger, generator, field projector and emitter. The generator produced a beam of nadion energy, which was then contained by a projected containment field. The weapon was unstable and could only remain activated for 60 seconds, before it had to be plugged into a larger generator for the recharger to recharge it. In addition, the energy weapons weren't any more effective than a sword, so they were mostly regulated for providing light while fighting in a darkened environment.
2. Modern Phaseblades
When Fredrick first discovered the hidden collection of Guardian artifacts & knowledge on Edriua, he was fascinated by the details for an energy weapon known as a Phaseblade. When he discovered a fully functional model on Serd, he decided to create a more effective device and, with the help of spirits of ancient Guardians (I will explain that later on) and Mike Sanders he succeeded in the creation of a much more effective weapon. The experiment was enough of a success that the weapon became a standard tool not only for the Guardians and their allies but also for many other intergalactic travelers, such as the Terrorists, War droid empire, Second guild and many others.
3. Technical aspects
The very first Guardian of Zion created the order of intergalactic mercenary after discovering a revolutionary engine system. By "gathering threads" from the fabric of space itself (attempting to gather threads from the fabric of time lead to paradoxes.) the engines propelled the Guardians starships through the universe at many sexdecilion's (Yes, that is a real word.) times the speed of light. To create the modern Phaseblades, Frederick decided to replicate this on a much smaller scale. The now significantly smaller "Gatherer" collected two subatomic particles and combined them. This created a blade of energy which was directed out the end of the device, creating a purely colored blade. This was then encased in a hilt, which could be aesthetically molded by the owner, creating a weapon practically identical to the original design, but now in a casing shorter than twenty inches. Technically however, the weapon was much more advanced, lasting for twenty four hours turned on before fading, and could be recharged by simply turning it off. The Guardians were preferred to most other melee weapons, because they were smaller, lighter and there energy blades could be used to deflect kinetic and energy projectiles. Although original Phaseblades only emitted beams of misty white, the modern ones, based off of what particles they were designed to gather, could produce blades of almost any colors.
Crusader Classes Edit
The current six classes for being a Crusader are as follows:
INQUISITOR: Despite the negative connotations of the word, Crusader Inquisitors are the leaders of the Crusaders, being responsible for the directions and leadership of the order. They are mostly associated with Blue phaseblades. Frederick, Andrew, S.k.i.d, Kanos, Clark and Alastar are all Inquisitors.
MARAUDER: The duelists of the Crusaders, Marauders devote their time to the practice of martial arts and dueling. They mostly wield orange Phaseblades. Jason, Issac and Ixil carried the title of Marauder.
SAGE: The minds of the order, Sages are responsible for sorcery, predictions, mental abilities, etc. Although there have been no modern crusader Sages, Kanos did express interest in this line of work. Victoria, Clar and Grace served as the Sages for their time.
OPERATIVE: The jack of all trades of the Crusaders, Operatives serve in whatever capacity they are needed for, whether it be frontline combat or diplomacy. Although she herself wasn't an Operative, Samantha honored them by carrying a yellow phase whip. Zannah and V.enus were Operatives.
VANGUARD: The warriors, troopers, soldiers, bullet stoppers, etc, Vanguards are built for frontline combat, often acting as the only line of defense between innocence and invaders. Despite carrying a silver Phaseblade instead of the traditional Red one, Samantha was a Vanguard, as were Wayne, Wyrven and Chloe.
SHADOW: As the name suggests, Crusader Shadows focus on stealth and secrecy, working behind the scenes and surprising there enemies. Despite this, they also have a healthy understanding of tactics, engineering and medicine, leading them to be very common, although a modern Crusader has yet to fit the bill. They mostly wield Green Phaseblades, as evidenced by Jack, Mike, Eleanor, Kate, Lavender and Thomas.
Isk are a Humanoid race, mostly found on Lyra Capella. There actual homeworld is the nearby Zhen-Jia IV, a temperate world of grasslands and hills. Unlike their cousin race, the Humans, the Isk never advanced beyond basic interstellar technology and never expanded their influence beyond Zhen-Jia and small pockets of civilization on Lyra Capella.
When the Confederacy was established, a majority of Isk either gladly joined the larger government or went about their business as usual, either unaware or uncaring that they were under the protection and control of a new power.
The Isk, as a people, had a strong shared culture, but no real sense of race wide uniformity or control. As later developments would soon prove, Isk and Humans are fully capable of interbreeding.
It is unknown how two species originating so far apart from each other could be this close, but it is a scenario replicated several times throughout the Telos Way.
Although Isk are practically identical to Humans in many ways, they have a number of physical differences. The most striking visual difference is the Isk’s occasional slight forehead ridges (Which are not always present) and bright yellow eyes (Which are).
Although rarely seen, Isk (And half-Human hybrids born to Isk mothers) have a complete lack of navals, due to Isk body chemistry bypassing the need for umbilical cords. This also leads to longer, more predictable pregnancies (Almost always exactly 12 months long).
The Isk also have different enough body chemistry that they can hold their breath up to three times as long as average Humans, but are also affected the same way by lactose most races are affected by alcohol.
The Isk are also very well known for their uncanny ability to remember sounds, similar to photographic memory. This, obviously, serves them well as intelligence agents.
One of the most well known traits exhibited by the Isk is also one of the least understood. Unlike most Humanoid races, but similar to many other species, the Isk bond once, and for life. Before marriage, any single Isk will act and behave like a member of any other race.
However, upon consummation, that Isk will be tied to their mate for the rest of their life. This bond is so strong that even “Ikakos the butcher”, one of the most legendary tyrants in the history of the Isk, had a single beloved wife for the entirety of his life.
Even if their partner dies, they refuse, or perhaps are incapable of, taking another. The divorce rate on Zhen-Jia is roughly once per century. Isk hybrids are rarer than they might be otherwise, simply due to other races finding it hard to adjust to such a strong commitment.
Although obvious explanations for this behaviour, including it being genetic or simply heavily ingrained in their culture, have been set forth, none of them have ever been confirmed or disproven. For now at least, the strong bonds of the Isk remain a mystery.
An old, proud race (Although having arrived in the Telos Way after the ancient races) the Isk are a old fashioned, traditional people, with a strong shared culture. Even There semi-unique biology plays a small role in this, as there lower than Human body temperature requires them to wear cloaks and coats more often than others, which eventually evolved into their trademark hat and coat appearance.
The most outwardly evident cultural aspect of the Isk is there prefered naming tradition: In honor of their “forebears” (A veritable pantheon of both historical and fictional heroes from there past), the Isk include the letters I, K and S in the names of their children and even species.
The Isk have one more unusual aspect to their names: No middle or last title. One name and one name only. Naming convictions aside, the Isk’s forebearers are the most intriguing aspect of their culture and traditions, the most famous member of which was the Warrior Queen Vasilik.
Responsible for the foundation of the Isk people on Zhen-Jia and later sacrificing herself to save her people, Vasilik was long thought by historians to be fictional, before a group of Adventurers confirmed her existence.
Veritable legends throughout the Telos Way, the Asynithis are as mysterious as they are famous. Despite a common misconception, the Asynithis are not a specific species or race. Rather, this is a term appropriated from the Savra dialect meaning “Masters of the power”.
In short, Asynithis is the “modern” term for wizard/witch.
The Telos Way Edit
The Telos Way: The forty seventh great wonder of the Universe. In scientific terms, it is exactly 500,00 Light years across and contains thirty trillion stars. This makes it one of the largest single Galaxies catalogued.
“Telos”, a word from an ancient Human language meaning end, is a very appropriate title. The Telos Way sits on the very edge of the Universe (The great emptiness has been confirmed by such beings as the Light Oracles and Amandla to indeed be the edge of reality).
It’s curious position is no accident, and it’s origins keep it from being named a great Natural wonder. Millenium ago, an ancient unnamed race (Recent rumours suggest there title to be “The Archaias Dentro”, but this has yet to be confirmed by the archeologist community) arrived at the very “End of ways” and set about creating a new home.
This brings us to a particularly interesting aspect of the Telos Way: It’s very center.
Lyra Capella: The current Human Homeworld and capital of the Confederacy. However, this is far from the first thing most would notice or point out about it. That is an honor reserved for comments on it’s size.
At an incredible estimated 2,000,000 miles total circumference, Lyra Capella’s very existence should be impossible on almost every level. However, the Unnamed Race was as advanced as they are mysterious: Through some unknown method, they crafted a planetoid the size of a small star.
In order to walk around on it’s surface without being crushed by gravity, they spread it’s gravitational field outwards, allowing normal Humanoids to live on Lyra Capella unaffected and creating a sort of protective “bubble” around it.
However, this feat of stellar engineering had the unintended side effect of dispersing it’s gravitational field much farther than records indicate they intended to. Thus began the Telos Way: A single point of massive pull drawing all the systems, stars and even ships drifting towards the Great Emptiness.
This is why the scientific community Unanimously agree that there aren’t any true Homeworlds or native species to the Telos Way: At some point or another, they all migrated there from somewhere else.